March 20, 2019 - After the confirmation of the high artistic quality of the Kotor Festival of Theater for Children, the prestigious European label of excellence in the field of art festivals EFFE Label was received by another manifestation in the ancient Kotor - KotorArt Don Branko’s Music Days.
After the award of the most prestigious in the field of tourism in Montenegro, the "Wild Beauty Award" for the event of the year, KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days received the recognition of the European Association of Festivals with a quality label within a network that adorns art festivals from 45 European countries.
EFFE Label is a European seal of quality for outstanding art festivals that show their engagement in the field of art, community involvement and international openness.
EFFE (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe) is an initiative launched by the European Association of Festivals (EFAs) with the support of the European Commission and Parliament. EFFE attracts public attention through a database that serves all kinds of interactions and initiatives that recognize the work of various European art festivals.
Festival of KotorArt Don Branko's music days can now be found on the site www.festivalfinder.eu which represents the online festival search site where the audience reveals all the art festivals, from music to theater, street art, dance and literature across Europe.
The European Association of Festivals manages the site with the support of the European Union. All European festivals can be found on the website, while only some of them carry a quality seal, the EFFE Label.
For the festival to bear this mark, it must meet many conditions such as the introduction of a coherent and organized art program and the promotion of permanent artistic development. It has to provide opportunities for future or innovative artists to create or to be presented in the program; local community engagement that fosters local links between the program and the performers, involving local artists and audiences in projects; helping to increase access to culture to a diverse audience; investment in innovation and capacity building and so on.
KotorArt, the festival of national importance for the culture of Montenegro, is one of the most significant and most important festivals in the country and region. Every summer KotorArt gathers an impressive number of international artists and with over 200 programs at numerous venues in Kotor and throughout the Bay, attracts tens of thousands of visitors, which makes it one of the most visited festivals of this type in the region.
For the past eighteen years, KotorArt has been developing the brand of the city of Kotor, making it recognized in the country and the region for its exclusivity and high artistic level of its programs. KotorArt Don Branko´s music days are a part of the Kotor and Montenegrin cultural identity; it enjoys an international reputation and creates immense benefits for the economic and cultural development of the Bay of Kotor and the promotion of Kotor abroad. It also provides a significant contribution to the international image of Kotor as an inevitable destination with a rich cultural offer.
KotorArt was founded in 2002 as a music festival, by pianist Ratimir Martinović and priest Don Branko Sbutega. By merging major Kotor festivals into one in 2009, the present KotorArt relied on the name and reputation of the music festival, which has been named Don Branko’s Music Days and served as the music segment of the new KotorArt.
In addition to quality classical music programs, KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days also includes Coca-Cola Stage, a series of concerts featuring important regional names of pop, rock and jazz music. Part of the festival is also the Ports of Arts, a series of programs with numerous events featuring young musicians from Montenegro and the region on the Kotor piazzas and surrounding cities, as well as the program series Jazz Square. Every year in July and August, Kotor town piazzas are filled with music programs, performed by renowned artists of our time, such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Nikolai Lugansky, Mischa Maisky, Leonidas Kavakos, Boris Berezovsky, Yuja Wang, Denis Matsuev, Nemanja Radulović, Ivo Pogorelić, Valentina Lisitsa, and many others.
March 19, 2019 - The traditional manifestation "Camellia Festival Stoliv 2019" starts in Stoliv, Kotor on Saturday 23 March at 10 am at the Art and Literature Workshop in Nature called "Camellia in the Heart of Boka." The festival will, like every year, include various programs, which in Stoliv attract the lovers of this flower and Boka Bay from the countries of the region, but also in other parts of Europe. This year, guests come from German Aachen and Opatija, an old Croatian tourist star whose trademark is the camellia flower.
18 March 2019 - The gates of the most famous Budva beach, Mogren, has over decades been guarded by the famous bronze ballerina. She is peacefully standing in the same position and watching over the blue sea horizon of the Adriatic Sea.
The sculpture has become a symbol of Budva, and it is one of the main tourist attractions. There are almost no tourists or locals who at least once did not take a picture by the end of the famous Mogren ballerina.
When you start walking from the Old Town to the beautiful Mogren beach, this popular symbol of Budva, which is the work of the Belgrade sculptor Gradimir Aleksić, will welcome you on the very beginning of your journey.
With the old town walls and the famous beaches, beach Richard's head is in ballerina's background, which has always been a perfect motive for postcards sent from these parts with the certain words: "Hello from Budva!"
Aleksić's sculpture was inspired by an old local myth about a girl who was engaged to the sailor, who sailed away a long way to earn money so the two can live together. He never returned, and the girl remained faithful to him and came to this wall every morning to watch the sea.
She had been waiting for him for years until one morning they found him dead on the rock where the famous statue is located today.
"When you are in Budva old town you should take a walk around the Peninsula. There is the lovely ballerina statue with a backdrop of the city, and it leads to a nice beach. It is also a great chance to let your hair down and make some ballerina impressions for your holiday photo album," said tourist that was amazed by the Mogren Beach Ballerina.
18 March 2019 - The Masquerade Ball Finale on the occasion of 50th Mimosa Festival was held on March 17 in Herceg Novi, for the first time in the hotel "Park" in Bijela. For a good atmosphere and proper entertainment, the fun and energetic Indira Forza was in charge, who said that it is nice to be present at the jubilee Mimosa Festival and that it is always nice to spend time in Herceg Novi and Montenegro.
"You can feel the buzz, everyone is in costumes and masks. It is beautiful, we are all excited and what else do I have to do except make best party in the world," said Indira, a former soloist of the Colonia group.
The popular Croatian singer expressed her satisfaction that she was a guest of Herceg Novi during the masquerade ball because she likes to wear costumes and masks in beautiful colors and noted that she is happy that her business allows her this joy.
"Well, did not you notice, I am actually wearing the costumes and masks all the time? My job allows this game, I am always in costumes. It is characteristic of me that when you come to my concert, the dancers and I are always in costumes, and that is what I am really happy about," Indira said through a laugh and called her costume "Lady on the trampoline".
She recalled her performances and socializing with her colleagues in Herceg Novi, who had left her in good memory. According to her, the love between her and the people in Montenegro is reciprocal and lasts for many years and will continue. She is proud to be singing her old hits and new songs from the album "Valkira" with the same glow. She thanked the audience for giving her the wings.
Park Hotel owner Čedo Popović said that he wanted to host the Mimosa Festival's Masquerade Ball and that this was an extraordinary event that should be maximally supported.
"My wish is that the first masquerade ball will be held next year in a new hotel in Kumbor," Popović said.
He also added that the tourist season begins with them in about 15-20 days, and the announcements for this year are excellent and the capacities are filled.
At the 50th Mimosa Festival, a total of five masquerade balls were held, of which four were for adults and one for children. All of them were successfully organized and well attended, said the director of the Public Institution of Culture "Herceg Fest" Gordana Porobić Krcunović.
16 March 2019 - "According to the current state of the booking and information, we can expect a stable trend of good visits by Russian tourists, both individuals and organized groups that come to our hotels and private accommodation through a tour operator," said Maja Liješević, director of the Tourist Organization Budva at the international tourism fair "MITT 2019", which was held in Moscow from 12 to 14 March.
"Last year more than 3 million overnight stays were realized from this market in Montenegro, of which 2 million were realized in Budva, so there are really great reasons that we are present in this market this year," added the director of the Tourist Organization Budva and emphasized that a significant number of Budva hotels representatives are present in Moscow, among which are the hotel groups "Montenegro stars" and "Budvanska rivijera", hotels: "Avala", "Maestral", "Melia", as well as the company "R Tours Montenegro".
The most frequent questions of visitors during the first two days of the fair were about hotels and private accommodation, gastronomy, sports activities, such as diving and sports fishing, the possibility of organizing trips and similar. Most have expressed satisfaction with good flights connection with Montenegro.
Special interest was caused by the presence of Budva and Montenegro in the special edition of the Russian Gazeta, which printed more than 70,000 copies just before the fair and distributed alongside the daily version of one of the most circulating newspapers in this country.
As part of the activities of the Tourist Organization Budva during the fair, Krsto Radović, President of the Municipal Assembly and a member of the Executive Board of Tourist Organization Budva and Danilo Kastratović, President of the Executive Board of Tourist Organization Budva participated in the fair.
The tourist offer of Montenegro is organized by the National Tourism Organization and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism at "MITT" in 2019 (Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition), in cooperation with the Embassy of Montenegro in Russia, local tourism organizations, strategic partners and tourism industry.
The most important tourist fair manifestation in the Russian Federation market brings together over 2,500 exhibitors and 23,000 professionals from all over the world.
16 March 2019 - Starting at the city center, through City taverns and Cafe "Beograd, all the way to Škver, the atmosphere was conducted by a custom small cars race and the second race "Karotrc" for the 50th Mimosa Festival. This event attracted audiences of all generations, as well as the participants. Smiles and applause were present during the entire event, while two-seat and three-seat cars raced down the hill. The 700-meter long race track was successfully finished from many participants coming from Herceg Novi, Kotor, Tivat, Budva, Šibenik, Belgrade, Banja Luka, and Trebinje.
Herceg Novi's Deputy Mayor, Miloš Konjević, and the oldest member of the non-governmental organization "Maškare", Damir Bakica, opened the race.
"This is a phenomenal event that deserves to be traditional within the Mimosa Festival, and every year it is organized on an even higher level," said the Deputy Mayor Miloš Konjević, satisfied with the number of participants and spectators and enthusiasm about the atmosphere
"I used to drive as a kid, when I was seven to eight years old. I made a pause until I was 30 and last year I drove again," Konjevic said, adding that the race is a true example of the content of the Mimosa Festival that needs to be cherished, which returns old customs and games.
He thanked the non-governmental organization "Maškare" and Ivan Peulić, who brought this idea to Herceg Novi and Mimosa Festival. He said that "Karotrc" is a great intro to the finale of the 50th Mimosa Festival, which will be a spectacle. As he announced, the festival ends next weekend by carnival parade of 18 groups, traditional burning of carnival and a big concert by Ceca Ražnatović in Igalo.
Members of the "Maškare" non-governmental organization, who are the initiators of this sport and entertainment event, took care of the good organization of the second race.
"Our initiative has started since the moment when we are at Rijeka's carnival, where we heard that something similar is being organized, so we came up with an idea to do it in a somewhat different way," concluded Ivan Peulić from NGO "Maškare".
15 March 2019 - Deputy Prime Minister for Regional Development Rafet Husović said that Montenegro is focusing its efforts and successes primarily in terms of economy, job creation, infrastructure development and tourism on the whole country, with the particular aim at Northern Montenegro.
"Thanks to the efforts of Prime Minister Marković and the leaders of this Government, the Kolašin 1600 Ski Resort was completed, and conditions are created for credible investors to start building prestigious hotels on the Bjelasica Mountain. But it is not only Bjelasica. And Hajla has opened its tourism potential - a tender for the purchase of a modern cable car worth 9 million EUR today is a reality. People are already working in our ski resorts, and they expect new jobs in the production and economy to be created in the coming period," said Husović when asked about important steps in the development of tourism in Northern Montenegro.
He continued that this is an excellent opportunity to look at the critics and asked whether anyone can claim that the previous two years have not been a record-breaking in tourism given the fact that a billion of euros of revenue was exceeded and 59 hotels have been opened.
"I would like to remind you that 14 4-star and 5-star hotels were opened last year alone, and in comparison, in 2006, we had only two 5-star hotels opened," pointed out Deputy Prime Minister Husović.
During this occasion, the reporters of the National Television of Montenegro asked him about the employment in Montenegro and the creation of the new jobs, which is supported by the Government of Montenegro.
"If almost 12,000 new jobs are not a result that confirms that the potential for employment has accompanied a stable, and we can say, a record-breaking rate of economic growth in the previous two years, if this does not confirm that the coordinated approach enhances the work of inspection bodies in a way that contributes to the reduction of the grey economy - then what the success is anyway? The Government, through the Investment and Development Fund, supported business people with more than EUR 200 million last year, and this and other measures saved over 200 small companies from bankruptcy. Thousands of our citizens work there, and we think about them and their families every day. Agribusinesses have broken records that will reach 100 million euros invested in our agriculture, farms and individual farms," concluded Husović.
March 15, 2019 - It is the largest tourism investment in the history of Montenegro. A progress report on the 1 billion euro Lustica Bay development.
It is a little over a year since I made my first visit to the Lustica Bay project. More than a billion euro to be invested in a 7 million m2 site that would ultimately have 7 luxury hotels, two marinas, an entire new village, and 18-hole golf course. Coming from Croatia, where almost nothing gets built, certainly not on time, I must admit that I was blown away by the scale of the project, but even more so by the fact that it was actually happening. When I got home, I wrote Lessons from Montenegro: Why Lustica Bay will Never Happen in Croatia.
But as incredible as progress was (there were 530 construction workers on site during my first visit in February, 2018), I laughed internally when the Lustica Bay team told me that their flagship luxury hotel, The Chedi, would open five months later. Most of it and the surrounding residences hat not even been built.
And not only did The Chedi open in July on schedule, but it opened in some style. If there was a better party on the Adriatic last summer, I didn't hear about it. Check out the video above for the Grand Opening.
And it didn't take long for the international luxury tourism market to notice. As reported last month, Lustica Bay won a prestigious award at the Luxury International Network Awards in Dubai - the Best Property Development in Europe.
As with its predecessor Porto Montenegro, Lustica Bay is slowly raising the profile of Montenegro on the global luxury tourism map.
And there has been a VERY international interest in the upscale development. I contacted the Lustica for some information on how things were going, and it was impressive to hear that property buyers in Lustica Bay come from no less than 40 countries. As of time of writing, some 167 million euro has been invested.
The latest online video about progress was uploaded in December, 2018 - you can see it above. Progress is being made in many other areas, as the Lustica team explained to me by email.
Lustica Bay and The Chedi teams are very busy working already full steam in preparation of the ongoing season with so many things already going on in the village. The March calendar is the first one released and we will soon launch a calendar for the entire with many exciting news and events. March calendar here: Download calendar.
We are actively promoting development both home and overseas – after completion of 3 events in Dubai, where we were awarded by the luxury network as the best European development, we have already completed events in Moscow and Serbia (presentation in Russia and sponsorship of Kopaonik Business Forum in Serbia). Our next plans will continue in Poland, Azerbaijan, Monaco, Kazakhstan, UK and Russia once again, with China coming up in May and June. We are also intending to bring large groups of media to visit the development and promote the country – 10 people from China, same numbers from UK, Germany, Russia, Scandinavia and UAE. We have recently successfully completed a visit with a large group of media and partners from Ukraine.
The construction continues in the marina village with more Kamelija and Magnolija homes nearing completion, remaining townhouses and villas ongoing works. We have started a phase 1 construction in Centrale, envisioned to be our town center.
The shopping and dining area is lively and more vibrant as the spring is coming and the restaurants, bars and trees lined promenade attract visitors from all over the world.
After successful completion of the first phase, Lustica Bay Marina is currently able to accommodate 50 boats up to 45m.The next phase of the marina construction is expected to begin soon and it will significantly increase the number of berths for the forthcoming season.
After completion of the final phase, Lustica Bay Marina is planned to accommodate 176 boats. Considering the fact that marina has been officially opened since mid-August this year, approx. 70% of the marina is already occupied.
Apart from the private boats, a portion of the marina clients are boats available for charter so all the residents of Lustica Bay complex and visitors alike will be able to rent a boat and enjoy the beauty of Montenegrin coast. For those sea lovers who prefer an active vacation, there is a renowned sailing school in the Lustica Bay Marina authorized to offer various IYT Worldwide courses to all interested persons.
We are working intensively on the opening of the fuel station and border crossing which is intended to be operational by the season.
Dry boat storage and service center is another project on which it is actively working and which should be available by the following winter season as an alternative to marina clients for winter months.
Work is also continuing on our 18-hole golf course. The driving range will be operational this summer.
Phenomenal progress, and 2019 is sure to be an exciting one yet again for Lustica Bay. You can follow the latest on the official website.
12 March 2019 - The great mission of the Theatre City Festival, which takes place during the summer in Budva, was recognized by an international jury, comprised of 11 artists from the art world, which define the criteria for the EFFE 2019-2020 award!
Festival “Theatre City” is one the most prestigious cultural manifestations in the country and region, organised under the patronage of Municipality of Budva. Since its founding, in 1987, this Festival has been rebuilding the Mediterranean spirit of the Old Town and every one of its squares and piazza’s, but also parts of the town that are outside of the old town's centre. The Festival changes them into a scene in the open on which every visitor and passer-by can become a participant of the artistic act. Since it is, from its founding, an integral part of tourist offering of the city, Theatre City and the whole city of Budva became and an indispensable destination not just to ordinary tourists but also to cultural - tourists, and to that attests the fact that the festival is every year visited by over 15000 people.
After the Kotor Children's Theatre Festival, another art festival in Montenegro was awarded the label EFFE, which is Europe’s quality stamp for remarkable arts festivals showing their engagement in the field of the arts, community involvement, and international openness.
The Festivals labelled with EFFE award are embedded in the European artistic, cultural and social reality. They are recognised for presenting a coherent and curated artistic programme, supporting on-going artistic development, providing opportunities for upcoming or innovative artists to create or to be presented in their programme, helping to increase access to culture and attract diverse audiences, taking measures to be more sustainable, helping to shape, encourage and promote intercultural experiences for different audiences and artists and engaging with audiences, for example through educational programmes.
“Theatre City” was conceived as an intersection of contemporary achievements first of all theatrical, and art, musical and literary creations. With its program quality, the Festival still confirms its prestige not just as a host to many troops and creators, but also with a quality of its production activities with which it confirms authentic cultural heritage of Budva and Montenegro.
Data on the Festival acquired from Montenegro 360
13 March 2019 - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Milutin Simović paid an official visit to the Municipality of Mojkovac. Deputy Prime Minister Simović noted that Mojkovac is making progress. Valorisation of the municipality's potentials, primarily in agriculture and tourism, is going in the right direction thanks to the implementation of Government's policies aimed at supporting the development of Mojkovac and the North, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasised.
He said that the Government would continue to support and implement development and investment activities that will contribute to the further development of the local economy, job creation and improvement of the quality of life of citizens, equally in urban and rural areas of this municipality.
At a meeting with President of the Municipality Ranko Mišnić and his associates, the Deputy Prime Minister expressed satisfaction with the evident results in the local finances, regular fulfillment of local needs and obligations towards the State, as well as the satisfaction with the teamwork that gives results in creating a favourable environment for investments and implementation of development projects for the benefit of the citizens.
Furthermore, Deputy Prime Minister Simović said that a significant development incentive for Mojkovac would be an additional 900.000 EUR of revenues that the municipality will receive from the Government this year by the amended Law on Financing Local Self-Governments.
The meeting agreed on concrete activities on the construction of rural infrastructure, road and water supply, which the Government will support through the programmes of the Ministry of Agriculture. Simović also expressed special satisfaction with the successful implementation of the Žarski Ski Resort project, which will have significant effects on the development of tourism, the possibilities of placement of domestic products, the development of entrepreneurship and the creation of new jobs.
11 March 2019 - The project Development of the Road Map Database, which is finally completed, provides conditions for improving road safety in Montenegro, which will result in a reduction in the number of traffic accidents; it was estimated from the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs of Montenegro.
The staff that developed the project, as announced by the Ministry, collected and processed data of 1.783 kilometres of main and regional roads, and in this way, they established a computerized system for managing the state roads network.
Director-General for International Cooperation and EU funds in the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs, Emina Mujević Kara, stressed that the conditions for improving road safety in Montenegro are being achieved, which will ultimately result in a reduction in the number of traffic accidents.
The Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section in the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Audrone Urbonaviciute, stressed that the Union would continue to be the main partner of Montenegro when it comes to the efforts to make the road transport sector more modern, useful and safer for all its citizens.
Assistant Director of the Transport Directorate, Ervin Adrović, said that their primary goal is to achieve quality management of state roads, both the effective maintenance and improvement of the existing and the construction of new roads in the country. According to him, it is necessary to analyse and store data on state roads, road facilities, their condition and traffic on them.
The coordinator of the project - SPEA Engineering representative, Lorenzo de Angelis, pointed out that the primary goal of the project was to develop the support management system following the most advanced international standards, configured and filled with data on the Montenegrin infrastructure network.
The project implementation contract was signed on November 21, 2017, with SPEA Engineering and it is funded from EU funds, within the IPA Annual Action Program for 2014.
The value of the contract is 356,8 thousand EUR, of which the EU contribution is 303,3 thousand EUR, while the state funds the rest.